Johnston Press plc, one of the leading regional media groups in the UK and Ireland, announces that Ian Russell will succeed Roger Parry as Chairman with effect from 12 March 2009. Simon Waugh will be leaving the Board with effect from 30 January 2009. Roger Parry and Gavin Patterson will not be seeking re-election/election at the AGM.
Roger Parry has informed the Board that he intends to retire as a Director at the Company's AGM on 24 April 2009. He has been on the Board for 12 years, eight of which as Chairman. Roger will be handing over the Chairmanship of the Company to Ian Russell on 12 March 2009, the day after the Company announces its annual results for 2008. Ian joined the Board as a non-executive Director in 2007 and is the former Chief Executive and Finance Director of Scottish Power plc.
Over the past 18 months Roger has been leading the search for a new Chief Executive to replace Tim Bowdler. The appointment of John Fry as the new CEO was announced in September 2008 and he started his new post on 5 January 2009.
Peter Cawdron, the Senior Independent Director, commented:
'The Board is immensely grateful to Roger for his contribution during the last 12 years, especially the eight years as Chairman, a period which has seen the substantial expansion of the Company to become the second largest regional newspaper publisher in the UK and the largest publisher of weekly newspapers in the Republic of Ireland. We wish him well with his future ventures.'
Roger Parry commented:
'Johnston Press now has a new Chief Executive in place, a successful Rights Issue was completed in 2008 and a major restructuring programme has been approved by the Board and is well underway.
The past 12 years have been characterised by industry consolidation. The last year has been about responding to the recession. This will be the focus in the immediate term, together with adapting the business to reflect the changing needs of consumers and advertisers.
With a new CEO in place it seems an ideal time for me to hand over to Ian to work with John Fry and the Board to address the challenges ahead.'
Simon Waugh is leaving to coincide with his appointment as the first Chief Executive of the new National Apprenticeship Service which takes effect from 1 February 2009.
Simon joined Johnston Press as a non-executive Director in 2003 and is currently Chairman of the Remuneration Committee. Peter Cawdron, the Senior Independent Director, will take on the Chairmanship of the Remuneration Committee as a temporary measure when Simon leaves the Board. Peter has also agreed to continue on the Board of Johnston Press until the AGM in 2010.
Johnston Press Chairman, Roger Parry said 'I am extremely grateful to Simon who devoted a substantial time commitment to the appointment of our new CEO. In his six years on the Board, Simon has brought a huge amount of marketing experience and has made significant progress in helping Johnston Press become a more customer focused company.
An effective apprenticeship system is vital for building skills in the UK. I know the whole Board wishes Simon all the very best in his important new role.'
Gavin Patterson joined Johnston Press as a non-executive Director in July 2008 and will be leaving the Board at the AGM on 24 April 2009.
Johnston Press Chairman Roger Parry said 'The Board is very grateful to Gavin for his input over the past six months. He has been a great contributor to the plans to restructure the Company and has strongly influenced our thinking on marketing and technology. Gavin and I discussed his Board role before his recent significant promotion as Chief Executive of BT Retail and I fully understand that the new, additional calls on his time make his role as a non-executive Director of Johnston Press difficult.'
Gavin Patterson commented 'I have very much enjoyed my involvement with Johnston Press and I am sorry that it is not possible for me to continue at the present time.'
A process is already under way with a leading search firm to find replacements for Simon and Gavin, together with another independent non-executive Director, and announcements will be made in due course.
Johnston Press plc
John Fry, Chief Executive
0131 225 3361
Media Square plc - 020 7535 9971
Roger Parry - 020 7535 9972
Richard Oldworth / Christian Goodbody
020 7466 5000
Note to editors
Ian Russell CBE, aged 56, is Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Remuneration and Nomination Committees. He is Chairman of Advanced Power AG and of Remploy Ltd, a director of the Mercantile Investment Trust plc and British Assets Trust plc, an advisor to 3i Group and Clyde Bergemann Power Group, and Chairman of the campaign board for the University of Edinburgh.
Roger Parry joined the Board of Johnston Press as a non-executive director in 1997 and was appointed Chairman in 2001. He is non-executive Chairman of three quoted media sector companies: Future plc, (specialist consumer media); Mobile Streams plc (mobile internet) and YouGov plc.(online market research). He is Executive Chairman of the quoted marketing communications group Media Square plc and is Chairman of Shakespeare's Globe Trust which is a pro-bono role.
Roger, aged 55, is married with one son and lives in London and Hampshire. In the past he was CEO of More Group plc and CEO of Clear Channel International Inc. He was a consultant with McKinsey and Co and a journalist with the BBC and ITV. He is a Visiting Fellow of Oxford University.
Over the past 12 years Roger has regularly re-invested his director's fees in purchasing shares in Johnston Press (and participating fully in all rights issues). He currently holds 252,920 ordinary shares in Johnston Press and he has informed the Company that he has no plans to sell these shares.